Experts from the Fields of Budget and Health to Meet during the OECD Conference in Tallinn
Tomorrow, the annual conference of the budget and health experts from the Central, Eastern and South European member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Health Organization will begin in Tallinn; the main topics include lessons learned from the economic crisis, the restoration of fiscal discipline and guaranteeing financial sustainability.The purpose of the two-day conference is to increase the cooperation of financial and health officials in the budgetary issues of health care. According to Deputy Secretary-General of the State Fiscal Policy of the Ministry of Finance, Ivar Sikk, the fact that this year's annual meeting takes place in Estonia is extremely significant. “The budgetary issues of different states and a greater coordination in fiscal regulations has become an important issue everywhere; therefore, Estonia is receiving more attention and is set as an example to others for its well-organized state finances and a good budgetary discipline,” said Sikk. “Estonia has the opportunity to share its experience of budgeting during an economic crisis with other countries and to discuss the possibilities of controlling the increase of expenditure in the current economic situation.” According to the Chairman of the Managing Board of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, Hannes Danilov, the fact that the conservative budgetary policy of the Health Insurance Fund and the prudent decisions made at the beginning of the crisis enabled the health care system to cope successfully is very positive. “It was a valuable experience that we can share with other countries during the conference that is about to begin. I am positive that we are also going to discuss the long-term sustainable funding of health care systems; Estonia has a lot to learn from other countries about the possibilities of increasing its revenue base,” commented Danilov. According to the Representative of the World Health Organization in Estonia Marge Reinap, joint efforts must be made to sustain the long-term viability of health care systems. “The meeting between WHO and OECD draws our attention to the fact that in addition to the cooperation and coordination of state authorities cooperation between international organizations working with health care funding issues is also important in order to guarantee the financial sustainability of a health care system,” said Reinap. Other topics to be discussed during the conference include the role of international organizations in coordinating financial cooperation across a region, intensifying cooperation between politicians and budget experts to strengthen the framework for fiscal policy and the latest developments in intensifying the economic cooperation within the European Union. In addition, OECD will be giving recommendations for cooperation between the private and public sectors (Public-Private Partnership – PPP) when realizing projects. This year's annual OECD meeting on fiscal and budgetary policy of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe is the eighth of its kind; however, for the first time, the participant list also includes WHO and the financial sustainability of health care systems are discussed among other topics. Seminars on different topics related to budgetary policy and health care take place on the forenoon of Thursday and Friday; the conference ends on Friday afternoon with a panel discussion on the sustainability of health care systems with the participation of experts from both fields. The conference, organized by the Ministry of Finance in cooperation with Estonian Health Insurance Fund and the Estonian WHO Country Office, will feature around 120 participants from international organizations and 20 different countries.